Welcome to No Harm, No Waste.
Why this blog?
This blog is named after my belief that the twin challenges of harm and waste are not being addressed properly in healthcare today. Doing so is crucial for providers of health services to be able to engage patients and deliver quality care in sustainable fashion.
This blog’s content is tutorial in nature. I aim to introduce concepts from other areas — to wit, systems and process engineering — which have wide applicability and deserve greater exposure in healthcare. Topics include modeling and simulating collaborative processes and workflows, assessing data quality and its impact on patient care, planning for desirable outcomes under uncertainty, leveraging commonalities and breaking out of siloed thinking, anchoring high-flying strategies to practical objectives, and achieving change that is both statistically significant and self-sustainable. Executing well on all these fronts needs to be deliberate and has the potential to greatly reduce both waste and harm at healthcare providers today, especially if aiming to achieve accountable care organization (ACO) status.
My hope is that our dialog will enable us all to better understand how to improve our work environment with minimal rework and frustration. In doing this, my concern is for:
- the patient who suffers through delays, misinformation, and occasionally harm
- the physician practice with an overly complex workflow
- the nurse manager attempting to schedule staff for maximum patient coverage while trying not to incur overtime or cause harm at the bedside
- the hospital administrator who must use scarce resources fully while facing decreased reimbursements
- the CFO who needs to forecast in a context of dwindling revenues and plan long-term capital allocation with confidence
- the facilities architect or manager who would like to incorporate lean concepts into a design
- the researcher who wishes to waste as little time as possible accessing accurate data
- the IT team concerned with ensuring data integrity, no harm to personal privacy, and broad availability of enterprise data from a warehouse.
Becoming process-oriented and data-driven thinkers and doers with a lifelong commitment to doing no harm and minimizing waste is hard work. And yet, it is a necessity for all of us who want to succeed in planning and delivering quality care in a highly regulated, competitive, and increasingly complex environment.
For those interested in breaking news coverage, emerging trends, and analysis of contentious issues in healthcare delivery and reform, I provide links to several outstanding blogs which do just that.
I hope you find the material useful.